Sep
01
2001

When a Media Mogul Runs the State

U.S. press unconcerned about fascist ties of Italy's Berlusconi

It's no great wonder that much of the Italian media did not report critically on the electoral campaign of multi-billionaire Silvio Berlusconi. After all, he owns Italy's three main private TV networks and other major media outlets. But what excuse does the U.S. press have for its flaccid coverage of Berlusconi, Italy's richest man, who is now prime minister of that country's 59th government since World War II? U.S. journalists repeatedly refer to the Italian TV tycoon as a "self-made" success story. George Will called the Italian TV tycoon a "gaudy self-creation" (Newsweek, 5/21/01) and a Scripps Howard editorial (5/15/01) […]

Mar
01
2000

As Europe's Far Right Surged, U.S. Press Shrugged

Playing down the fascist ties of Austria's Haider

The electoral breakthrough of the extreme-right Austrian Freedom Party—which came in a close sec­ond with more than a quarter of the vote in that country's national elec­tions last October—generated front-page coverage in most European news­papers. Editorial commentary empha­sized the importance of keeping the Freedom Party, led by Jörg Haider, from joining a new governing coalition. (Despite threats of siplomatic sanc­tions, the Freedom Party did form a governing coalition with the Austrian People's Party in February.) The Times of London (10/4/99) warned that "Haider's result has thrown [Austrian] politics into turmoil, frightened investors and brought closer to power the largest and […]

Jan
01
1992

Friendly Fascism: National Media Give David Duke a Face-Lift

"There's no doubt in your mind that Duke is a racist?" bellowed John McLaughlin (McLaughlin Group, 10/25/91). His question was directed at Jack Germond, the token liberal in the Group, who hedged and equivocated, unable or unwilling to state the obvious about Louisiana gubernatorial candidate David Duke. "I don't know whether in his heart he's a racist or not," Germond finally replied. "How do I know that?" The mainstream press generally doesn't like outsiders challenging the two-party political establishment, and most journalists clearly were non kindly disposed toward Duke. But news media consistently deferred to Duke when framing his candidacy, […]